Five Items, Thirty Days


Imagine that you are going to be stuck on an island for 30 days with a group of friends, classmates, or family. If you could only bring 5 items to help you survive the 30 days, what would they be? Something practical? Or something entertaining? The options are endless! How are you deciding what's most important? What are your deciding factors? Will you bring your mom? Your household cat? Or a random plate?

This prompt offers an opportunity to get to know one another and share our stories. Even though we can’t gather in person (yet), we can still create lasting friendships and relationships through sharing our stories. This prompt can help us ground ourselves in the now and to discover what helps us cope during hard times. We can look for similarities despite our differences and build upon them.

  1. Gather a group of friends, classmates, or family together and imagine being stranded on an island for 30 days together. 
  2. Within 5–10 minutes, grab five items you would like to bring with you; this can be anything! The only catch is you only have 5–10 minutes!! 
  3. Once you have your five items, come back together as a group and share why you chose those particular items.
  4. Next randomly mix up everyone’s items, and randomly reassign 3 items to each person. Then work together to create a short narrative, showcasing how this group will survive the island together! What do the individuals and the group experience on the island? If you like you can consider the topography and the flora and fauna of the island and how each person responds?
  5. Next have each member of the group create a scene from your group's month-long experience on the island.
  6. Share your illustrations — put them together and watch your group’s collective story emerge!
  7. Post your illustrations individually or as a group using the submission form at the top of this page!